Rather than telepathy or direct control, Animal Psi is the ability to communicate with animals, reading their emotional state and intent, and asking them to do things. The animal doesn’t have to agree, but the psychic has a much better chance of getting an animal to follow her instructions than almost anyone else. At each level, the psychic can both better understand what an animal is thinking, and can issue short commands to the animal.
Talking to animals is a surprisingly useful talent for intelligence agents. In cities, a talented psychic can send a pigeon or seagull to track a target, use rats to get into locked apartments, and talk to foxes and raccoons to discover what happened before the psychic arrived. Most psychics with this numen keep a number of tame, trained animals — from cats and dogs to rats and parrots — who are used to their abilities. This power only works when the user can clearly see and hear the animal she is communicating with. The closer an animal is to human intelligence (chimpanzees, dolphins, etc.), the easier it is for the psychic to communicate with them. Mammalians are the easiest to interact with, while untrained birds, reptiles and other animals pose more of a challenge to the psychic.
Official Abilities Edit
- Read Basic Intent/Communication: The user can read an animal’s basic intent, such as knowing whether it will attack or flee, and can both talk to the animal and understand what the animal “says” in return.
- Read Current Emotions/Simple Command: The psychic can read an animal’s current emotional state, such as knowing whether an animal is attacking out of anger or hatred or hunger. The psychic may also give a simple command that the animal is compelled to follow, which can be no more than six words long.
- Read Wants and Needs/Complex Command: The psychic can read an animal’s wants and needs without needing to ask, knowing that an animal wants him to follow or to stay away. The psychic can also give a complex command, usually in the form of two simple commands strung together (“Follow that man, and then come back to me.”) The animal will continue to follow the commands for the duration of the power.
- Anticipate Instincts/Borrow Memories: The psychic can anticipate an animal’s complex instincts, knowing how it will react in response to events that haven’t yet occurred. He may also borrow the animal’s memories, finding out what the animal has seen, heard, or smelled over the past six hours.
- Mental Communion: The psychic can send his senses along with the animal, nudging the animal to go where he wants it to, and perceiving with all of its senses — a dog’s sense of smell, or a hunting bird’s eyesight. When using this power, the psychic is entirely unaware of his surroundings.